| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 5 Facebook Inc's
recently-acquired photo-sharing service Instagram removed a key
element of its integration with Twitter, signaling that
competition between the popular Web social media companies may
be heating up.
Instagram said it had turned off support for Twitter "cards"
- a Twitter feature that allows Instagram's photos to be
embedded and viewed directly within a Twitter message. On
Wednesday, Twitter users discovered that Instagram photos did
not display properly on Twitter's website.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said his company had decided
that its users should view photos on Instagram's own Web pages.
"We believe the best experience is for us to link back to
where the content lives," Systrom said in a statement, citing
recent improvements to Instagram's website.
"A handful of months ago we supported Twitter cards because
we had a minimal web presence," Systrom said, noting that the
company has since released new features that allow users to
comment about and "like" photos directly on Instagram's website.
Systrom noted that Instagram users will be able to "continue
to be able to share to Twitter as they originally did before the
Twitter Cards implementation."
Instagram, which has 100 million users, allows consumers to
share with friends on their smartphones. Facebook acquired
Instagram in September for $715 million, and has said it intends
to run the company as a separate product.
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition
in an April blog post, he said one of Instagram's strengths was
its inter-connectivity with other social networks.
"We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other
services beyond Facebook is an important part of the
experience," Zuckerberg wrote. "We plan on keeping features like
the ability to post to other social networks."
A status message on Twitter's website on Wednesday said that
users are "experiencing issues," such as "cropped images" when
viewing Instagram photos on Twitter.